Random Thoughts

Call it amazing, part 8


After “Call It Sleep” became an international best-selling novel in the 1960s, Henry Roth occasionally dreamed of reviving his literary career. He tried to write a few things but produced nothing of significance.

But when Italian scholar Mario Materassi edited all of his short prose pieces into a book in 1987, Roth – who was then 81 years old – discovered that he could write literary works again.

“Call It Sleep” had been a semi-autobiographical book about Roth’s early childhood in a poor Jewish neighborhood in New York City. When he was 14, however, his parents moved the famil...

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